Here's How To Repurpose Frozen Burger Patties For Taco Night

If you're having an impromptu Taco Tuesday party but didn't plan accordingly, then you may have to think fast on your feet. If you didn't buy fresh ground beef, then don't fret. If you have some pre-packaged frozen hamburger patties on hand, you can take those and turn them into taco meat. 

However, it's important to realize that not all frozen hamburger patties are created equal. Some varieties are better than other, so be sure to do your research to separate the best frozen hamburgers from the worst. Frozen hamburger patties specifically work because they're made of ground beef, only in patty form, so all you would have to do is smash it so the meat is no longer puck-shaped. Keep in mind that the quality of the meat, both from freezing as well as its processed nature, may not be quite as good as getting ground beef from the store. 

Frozen hamburger patties may also contain additives, which is important to consider. Depending on the brand, these patties may have been mixed with breadcrumbs or eggs to help the meat hold its shape. As such, you may want to adjust some of your other taco ingredients to account for that fact. 

How to make taco meat

The process for turning frozen hamburger patties into taco meat couldn't be simpler. All you need to do is let your patties defrost, which can take about five hours per pound in the fridge. From there, you would ground up the patties using a spoon or fork. Mix in your taco seasoning of choice, and you're ready to toss them in the skillet or Instant Pot

While those strapped for time may turn to either sitting the meat in cold water or zapping it in the microwave, you can also let your meat defrost through cooking if you are truly in a hurry. This process will require you to cook the ground beef about 50% longer, as you're accounting for the defrost time as well. The texture may suffer a bit from this approach, but the moisture should make up for that fact, still leading to a savory taco filling. The drawback of this method is that you have to wait to season your ground beef until it's nearly done cooking. 

Finally, be sure that your frozen hamburger patties are still good before cooking. Look for signs of freezer burn. Typically, frozen patties maintain their quality for about six months.